Summer is made for spending time outside. It’s the season for plush gardens, jumping through sprinklers and throwing our best recipes on the grill as friends and family gather around our outdoor furniture. Unfortunately, summer also brings some unwanted guests to the yard. Each year, we scramble to find ways to get rid of mosquitoes as they follow their noses to our patio parties.
Chemical insect repellents may be effective, but leave many concerned about their impact on plants, people and the environment. Fortunately, they’re not the only option. You can enjoy a less itchy and more eco-friendly summer by learning how to get rid of mosquitoes naturally.
Stop Skeeters Before They Hatch
One of the most effective ways to rid mosquitoes from your next barbecue is to target how they breed. Mosquitoes build their broods in standing water, not just in natural wetland areas but our own backyards. After a rainstorm, do your best to wipe away even the smallest pools of standing water on your outdoor furniture. Drain gutters and dump water from pots, bins and even tools where it may have collected. If you keep water bowls outdoors for your pets, make sure to keep them clean and fresh. Regularly flush out your birdbaths and consider equipping them and other water features with solar-powered fountains so the water stays moving. The birds will love it, but the mosquitoes won’t.
Plant a Mosquito-Repellent Garden
In addition to keeping standing water under control, you can use the space in your yard and patio to cultivate more natural defenses against mosquitoes. There are a number of plants that repel mosquitoes while adding color and fragrance to your yard. Perennial flowers like lavender and hardy chrysanthemums, annuals like marigolds and nasturtium and even herbs like rosemary, basil, mint, and sage will make your yard beautiful for people and unattractive to mosquitoes. Add onions, garlic and other alliums to your vegetable gardens for more tasty bites for you and fewer for the mosquitoes. Citrus-smelling plants like lemon balm, lemongrass and lemon thyme are other tasty plants that repel mosquitoes. Citronella and catmint are among the most effective plants to include in your garden, as they can also be used to create candles and natural bug spray. Just having these plants around will help deter mosquitoes, but they are maximized when their oils are released by burning fresh sprigs or boiling leaves and flowers.
Use Natural Mosquito-Repellent Sprays and Candles
With concern about the risks of DEET becoming more prevalent, there are a number of alternative products on the market that are made from plant-based, natural mosquito repellents. To improve the ambience and build in protection for your outdoor activities, consider using a diffuser with mosquito-repellent essential oils like lemon eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree or citronella. Soybean oil is also a natural mosquito repellent, so soy-based candles can also help build a lovely, bug-free atmosphere. Catmint, and its close relative catnip, contain nepetalactone which is more powerful than DEET and can be used as an essential oil in candles, diffusers or even turned into a DIY bug spray. Whether buying candles and sprays from the store or making your own, always check for allergic reactions before use.
Enjoy the Best of the Outdoors with By the Yard Furniture.
At By the Yard, we know that the best outdoor furniture is maintenance-free and durable. That’s why we build ours from HDPE lumber made from recycled milk jugs. Our furniture is nonporous so it doesn’t absorb water, and it can withstand harsh weather in any season without storage. Unlike wood, By the Yard’s HDPE furniture doesn’t attract insects and our planters can be used to add mosquito repellent plants to your patio.